Don’t Bet on China: Redux

A Chinese libertarian, Nicolas Dong, who recently did a Mandarin translation of one of my IP articles, recently told me this in an email regarding my earlier post, Don’t Bet on China:

I agree most part of your point of view about China. I believe that after the bust of the current housing bubble and high inflation, there will be much more unrest. The costs to maintain a “stable” social order have exceeded the cost of maintaining the army. Great changes may occur after the Xi Jinpin administration. But democratization will probably make China more socialist, for reasons explained in Hoppe’s Democracy: The God that Failed. There are just too many mobs here. And many social democrats are controlling the media, preaching democracy and equality instead of liberty. Fortunately, some influential media have libertarian-leaning editors or columnists. We also have libertarian and classical liberal university professors. We are trying our best to have a greater influence.

Also, regarding the libertarian perspective on intellectual property and my anti-IP article that he translated, he said:

They [the Chinese libertarians] debated for a while, and now, most libertarians in China are anti-IP.

However its influence is limited since we are just circulating it in our circle, and posting it on websites. Most people in China don’t know what libertarianism is, and they may not capable of catching the idea in the article.

… You know, something nice is that those who control the internet here don’t know what libertarianism and the Austrian School are; thus, most of those sites are not prohibited. The Austrian School does have some influence in academia here, albeit mainly Hayekian.

2 comments… add one

  • I am somehow touched by Mr. Dong’s comments. I can only imagine what a man such as this must endure to travel the same road as us fellow libertarian/capitlalist anarchists. Encourages me in some sense.

    As to China, it will inevitably suffer the same fate as any Nation blessed with enormous resources of the mind and land. A few leading families with short time horizons, the passionate lust for power of legions aligned with and against those families, and the great numbing clamoring of masses demanding “security” of person, wealth, status and whatever else, will all combine to bring less “security,” less “stability” and more unrest.

    The clearest expression of China’s desire to join Europe as a dying continent is its one-child policy. To openly seek the extermination by attrition of its own is the first step. Seriously, only in Europe, upper class America and China is it considered cool to curse the blessing of kids.

    I have to admit I can’t blame the elites of China for buying into mercantalist and keynesian crap. Afterall, that’s the course de jure at all the major prestigious american universities. Inflate your way to wealth! Rapidly reproducing currencies combined with rapidly declining population will lead to nirvana! Hooray. Good thing we sent Juan Jr. to study at Harvard!

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  • I think the question of whether China is ‘good’ for you depends on what you do. There is a lot of money that can be made there that can’t be made in the U.S.A. But it’s certainly no libertarian Valhalla. The advantage it has, largely shared with early America, is a fairly small government-to-population ratio. But, as we know, that can grow terrifyingly fast; especially when people are being normal oblivious/emotional herd animals.

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